Sen. Young Recognizes 100 Years of Salamanca Football
The storied history of Salamanca High School football is now New York State record.
State Senator Catharine Young visited Salamanca High in her home district Thursday to read a resolution congratulating the Warriors on 100 years of football. Players in attendance received copies of the proclamation, unanimously passed by the state senate in March and resolved to be “transmitted to Head Coach Paul Haley, Salamanca Warriors Varsity Football Team.”
The resolution, numbered J4015, details the Warriors rise to prominence under coaches Joe Sanfilippo and George Whitcher, Section 6 championships and numerous Big 30 award winners and Louis Foy and Gary Sage, namesakes for two of those awards.
Varsity players, J.V. players and cheerleaders, coaches and alumni attended the assembly in the school auditorium, followed by a reception in the library where Senator Young chatted individually with students.
“Now you are part of New York State history,” Senator Young told the attendees. “You are part of the permanent state legislative record. You can go to the state capitol in Albany and look it up. Your children, your grandchildren, your great-great grandchildren can go and look this up in the future.”
Salamanca made 14 Section 6 championship games from 1982-2001 under Whitcher and Rich Morton, winning nine. Morton took the Warriors to the state championship game in 1999 and final four in 2001.
“Few programs have demonstrated a commitment to excellence like the program developed at the Salamanca City Central School District,” the resolution reads. “The Warriors Varsity Football Team has garnered more than 460 wins and, since 1982, has won nine Section VI Championships. “The athletic talent displayed by the program is due in great part to the dedication and efforts of its line of storied head coaches.”
Senator Young said she wanted to recognize the program’s history and said such resolutions need to be “something extraordinary” to pass. “This is incredible that Salamanca football has reached this milestone achievement,” she said. “A hundred years of anything is huge. But the fact that you have carried on that tradition of excellence, the tradition of team pride but also community pride. I know that this football program is really important to the community.”
Athletic director Chris Siebert presented Senator Young with a commemorative football, inscribed with the words “Welcoming Senator Young celebrating 100 years of Salamanca football.”
Salamanca superintendent Bob Breidenstein introduced Senator Young, who he said “has long been a friend of public education and school districts.” Much has changed since 1915, Breidenstein acknowledged. Through the program’s ups and downs, from the highs of a state championship appearance in 1999 to a difficult 100th season at 0-8 struggling with numbers, he sees potential for the Warriors to bounce back soon.
“The future looks bright,” he said. “We have some talented athletes and wonderful students who work hard on the field and in the classrooms to make sure that they can continue to be part of the rich football legacy that is known as Warrior football.”
He encouraged the underclassmen in attendance to recruit new teammates and work hard this summer in the spirit of the history they recognized Thursday. “When those summer workouts begin, grab a friend,” Breidenstein said. “Bring them with you, increase the ranks and the numbers so that football may once again flourish, grow and be dominant on our fields of competition.”